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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  March 17, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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couple of weeks. and if you think you have what it takes, bring it. here's your chance. take the challenge. logon to krccnn.com/brackets. again, cnn.com/brackets. good luck. that's it for me. i'm here with jake tapper starts right now. breaking news now. the u.s. military is scaling back its role in the several for flight 370. is the u.s. throwing in the towel on this baffling mystery? i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." increasingly it seems like the only feasible explanation someone intentionally steering flight 370 off course to parts unknown. and now an intensified look at the 30 minutes when communications failed or, worse, shut down as the search area expands into two hemispheres, minus one u.s. navy ship. also, increased scrutiny.
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not only on the pilots but the passengers of flight 370. and the international geopolitical lead backing up his
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welcome back to "the lead," more now on the world lead with no physical evidence of malaysia airline flights in the 11 days since its disappearance, investigators have been forced to rely on things like pings and signals and radar to figure out
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what could have happened to the plane and where it may have ended up. what's become evident in the midst of this mess is the technology used to track the trends in the skies, well,
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possibilities. in the northern route up here, it simply was missed by radar and you may wonder how that could happen but one thing we've learned, as we've looked at the explanation of this investigation and this search is that there are many places here, cambodia, myanmar, china, up towards pakistan and india and kazakhstan and they have either spotty radar coverage or not very much manned radar coverage or coverage that is not busy during the night on top of which you recognize countries that are not so keen on sharing much
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information on how they operate. so even if they saw something, we don't know that they would have shared it. and lastly, what about this idea of it being hidden in plain sight. we just mentioned it here so you can understand it. what if the plane basically slipped up and into the shadow of another legitimate plane, so this plane is flying legitimately out there, sending off a signal and the missing plane is flying close enough to it that it simply looked like a big dot on the radar and nobody really paid attention to it. again, this seems like an outlandish idea and a difficult thing for anyone to pull off but in the absence of any more evidence to tell us what has happened, jake, when this thing disappeared, people are discussing that, too. >> tom foreman, thanks. while some of these
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scenarios, admittedly, sound a little bit too james brown villainish to be plausible, they are, in fact, possible. joining me now is jim tillman. how hard would it be for a pilot to pull off the kind of maneuvers necessary to shadow another aircraft without being detected? >> well, it would be difficult. but i'm not of the feeling that these guys would shy away from difficult. because i think this whole thing was planned from beginning to end. i don't know what the end game is yet but i think there is one. this was also a situation that would require great skill and experience to pull off. sure, that kind of a pilot could fly up and fly in formation off a commercial airplane going from here to there. that's a possibility.
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and it would show up as just one block on the controller scope. but we know that the plane ended up someplace in this area and you've heard tom talk about that. but where did it go from there and if these guys had a good plan, once they got to a certain point, were they just going to say, okay, we're here. can't think of anything else to do. let's just go. let's just go fly into the ocean. i don't think so. >> jim, what is it about the facts of the case, the things that we know for sure that convince you that this was done on purpose and that this was planned? >> i don't think there's any way for that airplane to fly the way it has been found to fly, up until the point we don't know where it went from there, just by chance. i think it took a great deal of skill to do this. i think somebody was at the
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controls that understood the value of altitude control to eliminate the possibility of being spotted and tracked on radar, that took care of all of the warning devices and the informational devices in the cockpit and beyond. somebody that really had the ability to map out a route that would give them the very best chance of not being detected. that map out. that is the key. it would require a lot of skill and a lot of practice and i only know one pilot that we've been told about that has that kind of skill and that kind of practice. >> if this plane stayed in the air after its last communication and then flew north, do the air spaces involved with that possible flight path raise any alarms for you at all? >> it's pretty chancy because you've got to depend on controllers who are not at the stick or countries that turn off
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their radars at night. all kinds of things that really you cannot control and cannot predict. i think the folks that put this thing together -- and i keep making that plural because i don't think this was done by one person. i think whoever was doing this had help on the ground and in the air. but even then you'd have to be very, very skillful and have a lot of luck to just negotiate around each one of those radars and be willing to fly pretty close to the deck. >> jim, lastly, where do you think the investigation goes at this point? >> i think the investigation is -- i think that a lot of confusion, money that has been spent and resources that have been put into this thing and i think people are going to begin to get discouraged about whether or not they are ever going to find anything. i think we have to be very, very cautious because whoever is behind this is counting on us not being vigilant right down to
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the end. >> jim tillman, thank you so much. coming up next, examining the pilots. what did investigators find when searching their homes? plus, could the pilot have trained anyone else to fly a boeing 777 using the simulator in his house? aww, this audit will take days. what a headache! actually& i don't have a headache anymore! excedrin really does work fast. quiet! mom has a headache! had a headache! but now, i& don't. with 2 pain fighters, plus a booster, excedrin ends headaches fast. in fact for some, relief starts in just 15 minutes. wow, my headache is gone. not gonna happen. excedrin. headache. gone.
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wealth come back to "the lead," continuing our world lead, those inclined to believe that the missing flight 370 was no accident. malaysian investigators searched the pilot and co-pilot's homes and delved into every aspects of their background. cnn joe johns has more of what they have recovered so far. >> reporter: surveillance video shows the pilot and first officer passing through the security. cnn cannot say when this was shot. it doesn't show the men doing
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anything unusual but to the trained eye may raise questions about the hand wand and pat-down security procedures in kuala lumpur where the plane took off. >> if security is bad, virtually anybody on the plane could be carrying weapons, information, any kind of thing to carry out a criminal act. >> reporter: concerns about the disappearance of 777 has grown as authorities learn more about the plane's likely direction of travel. >> this movement is consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane. >> reporter: over the weekend, searchers at the homes of both pilots, authorities in plain clothes seen here leaving the home of first officer 27-year-old fariq ab hamid and later removing the flight simulator of zaharie ahmad shah.
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>> it's a reflection of his love for flying. >> reporter: but there is also this -- >> the other thing that could be important in the simulator is whether the pilot trained anyone else on the simulator. >> reporter: investigating the pilots requires a deep dive into their health and personal history, bank accounts, recent life insurance purchases, divorces, separations. >> there could be a number of things that cause personal stress and under severe stress, a person can do bad things. >> reporter: indicators of a problem could be carefully hidden. >> is there a drug problem, a mental problem, any additional recent prescriptions, failure to report for any physicals, which in the united states would have not made you legal to fly. anything unusual. >> reporter: joe johns, cnn, washington. >> our thanks to joe johns. we also learned that among the passengers was a malaysian civil
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aviation engineer who worked for a private jet charter company. his father told cnn today that he's confident his son was not involved in any plot. coming up on "the lead," looking beyond the pilots, what do we know about the passengers? we'll talk about the questions that should be asked about every person on board. also, a little payback, perhaps? vladimir putin planning his own sanctions against several prominent u.s. lawmakers. who's on the list? coming up. okay, listen up! i'm re-workin' the menu. mayo? corn dogs? you are so outta here! aah! [ female announcer ] the complete balanced nutrition of great-tasting ensure. 24 vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and 9 grams of protein. [ bottle ] ensure®. nutrition in charge™.
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welcome back to "the lead," the politics lead now. geo politics, international politics, the kremlin strikes back. moments ago vladimir putin signed a decree and the particle meant agreed to join the russian federation. according to josh rogin from
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"the daily beast," putin is working up its own sanctions list against the united states. the list is reportedly incomplete but could include everyone from dick durbin of illinois to john mccain of illinois and the news comes just hours after president obama and the european union each announced economic consequences today for those behind russia's advance into ukraine. >> we are imposing sanctions on specific individuals responsible for undermining the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and government of ukraine. we're making it clear that there are consequences for their actions. >> let's bring in russian journalist from moscow. here's the big question. the consequences, the sanctions that president obama and the european union announced today,
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is any of that going to change what putin and the russians are doing in crimea and ukraine? >> i hardly think that's a possibility. quite frankly, thus far at least, these are pinpricks. so, all right, certain people are not going to be able to travel to the united states. i think they can live with that and probably won't lose a lot of sleep over it and vice verse a.s some americans are not going to be able to travel to russia. that's not really big in the sense of sanctions. now, there may be economic sanctions down the road. that would be a different story. but from the outset, putin has said, you apply sanctions to us, we apply sanctions to you. that really depends on -- to me in a way it's a tit for tat situation and a little bit of child's play. oh, you did this to me so i'm
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going to do it right back to you. it doesn't sound like states man ship, at least in my opinion but that's the way it's working out. >> we've seen kremlinites saying, quote, it's a big honor for me. i don't have account for broads. the only thing that bothers me is the ucomrade barack obama wh should do those who have neither accounts or property abroad or you didn't think about it? so this is how russians seem to be taking the sanctions as if these are little gnats to be swatted away. >> do you think they are going to throw up their hand. please don't do this to me. we'll never do it again. we understand that is not going
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to happen and vice versa. if senator john mccain is on the russian list, he's going to laugh at it and he's going to laugh publicly. this is politics. this is the way it happens. but frankly, the fact that you are not going to grab the visa to these people is not seeing as really being serious sanctions by them and less so by the man in the street who is just going to laugh and says, and that's sanctions? well, we can live with that. >> the international community is not taking this referendum in crimea seriously. 97.7% of the voters supported the referendum and it's all written under a sham, no option to vote for the status quo remaining part of ukraine. ukrainian media shut down. do you think that vladimir putin really believes that this is
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being perceived as a legitimate referendum? >> well, first of all, i don't think he cares. what to him is important is whether or not he believes it was legitimate in the sense that it really reflected what the people of crimea wanted. now, when you say or anyone says that they voted under the gun barrels of the russian army, that's absolute -- you know, that's way off base. if you saw what was happening there last night, if you saw the celebration and cheers of joy of many of these people and they are saying, finally we're going home, finally after 25 years we're going back home, you could see that this was absolutely honest. and it's not at all a sham. and in fact, i think the people who say that it is are misleading others into believing it. i think if you want to deal with something, you have to know the reality of it. you have to know. for instance, the majority of russians support putin.
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if you say, well, they are forced to, then you're making a grave mistake and it's the same thing here. these people want to be part of russia. they are going home as they say now over the past 25 years, that home was changed and they don't know how it's changed and perhaps when they do come home, they will find many things that to them are strange and perhaps not even what they want. but the real feelings were expressed -- certainly were expressed in that referendum and that's what putin wants to know and he doesn't care what the western propaganda has to say about that. >> i don't doubt that there were many who voted to join the russian federation who were celebrating but i think there were also many more who were cowering behind closed doors. we'll have to leave it there. thank you so much and thank you to "the daily beast," josh rogin, for his reporting. so will putin stop with crimea and is there any way that the united states could stop him if he does not? let's bring in senator chris
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murphy of connecticut, the chairman of the summit of europe. thanks for joining us. you said yesterday that you think putin marched into crimea because he did not believe that the united states and europe would actually take a chunk of flesh out of the russian economy. do these sanctions go far enough? >> i think the sanctions announced today send a message to putin say that we are serious. no, they are directed against certain people coming down from putin and make it clear that we are serious about moving forward on sanctions but give him room to make a certain decision before he effects crimea. he didn't think that we would take him seriously. i also don't think this is the end of his ambition. it's actually counterproductive and strategically difficult to
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stop holding ton crimea. i think he's got different motives and designs which is why it's important for us to say that if he continues to move in this direction, if he moves forward with annexation, this is just the beginning of sanctions, not the end. >> do you think he wants to take all of ukraine? do you think he wants to go beyond ukraine? >> i think he has this vision to re-establish the soviet empire and he doesn't have to do that by officially invading or concurring the ukraine. that's not the reality today. i was there with republican and democratic senators this past weekend and frankly the invasion of crimea has hardened them to move towards europe. so whether he's going to move further into eastern ukraine, whether he's going to try to cut a deal with kiev, the motivation is to bring that whole country back into his orbit. he's got control of 2 or 3% of the country and the rest of the
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country is moving towards europe. that's a foreign policy disaster for putin so i know this is not his end game. >> the white house list of those being sanctioned includes three aides to putin, the former president of ukraine, yanukovych, as well as the man who claims to be the prime minister of crimea. but putin himself is not listed there. >> i think ultimately we're sending the right message. we're giving putin a clear indication that we're going to move forward on crippling sanctions and i think he now understands the reality of how serious the united states and europe takes this. a lot of the questions, as you know, jake, over the coming weeks is going to be whether europe is going to walk lock step with us. when you start moving on the next round of sanctions which is against russian banks and petro chemical companies, there will be real economic hurt but nothing compared to the hurt that will come five years from
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now when putin, having felt like he got away from this, marches on a nato ally. that's what we are trying to prevent. >> i think i'm more skeptical than you are of europe going that far. you said there is no military option for pushing putin out of crimea. but what if he moves farther into ukraine? what line would putin have to cross before you would advocate, say, military aid to the ukrainians? >> well, i think there are some immediate things we can do that would likely fall into the category of military aid. i'm not sure that the ukrainian army right now even has the capability to accept major weapon components from the united states. that's the sad state of affairs right now for the ukrainian military having been gutted by president yanukovych over the last few years. but things like communication assistance to mres to help troops move over to the eastern front just live and conduct basic surveillance activities,
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that can be important. they are just in no way, shape, or form to take major lethal military assistance from the united states but there are lots of ways to help them should the unthinkable happen and putin advance beyond crimea. >> senator chris murphy, thank you so much. next, a criminal profiler will tell us what he would be looking for in the background of those on board the missing jet. and then, waiting for his return, the partner of an american who was on flight 370 tells us she believes he's still alive. that interview coming up ahead. no matter how busy your morning you can always do something better for yourself.
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welcome back to "the lead," i'm jake tapper. continuing our world lead, it's the cruel reality of an investigation such as this one into malaysia airlines flight 370. everyone on board is both a possible victim and a possible suspect. so how do investigators even
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begin to dissect the information about all of those lives to find some answers? joining me is the man who ran the investigation into the world trade center bombing in 1993. bill, good to see you. as always. where do you begin in looking at answers for a mystery like this? >> jake, what you really have to do is start to take it apart piece by piece. you look at four different primary areas right now. the cabin. what went on in the cabin. and that's just a few people. the cargo is another important place to look and then all those who serviced the plane, you really have to look there as well. if i had to do it in an area of priorities, of course, it would be in the cockpit to begin with. because it appears to me, based on everything that's happened, that's where everything occurred on this particular flight.
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>> so you say start in the cockpit, which makes sense. how shocking do you find it that we're just learning about the pilots' home flight simulator this late in the game and that the pilot and co-pilot's homes were just searched in the last few days. >> i can't give you any answer. if this occurred someplace else, if this had been the united states where the flight originated, they would have been in the pilot's home and first officer's home the very next day or the same day. that's all important to make sure that you get -- can collect all of the evidence to either eliminate this person as a possible suspect or to bring them into the realm of being a suspect on that plane. >> now, you pointed out four areas where you would focus attention. the cockpit, cabin, cargo, and anyone who serviced the plane. people who had to do with the cargo and servicing the plane, that's dozens, hundreds, if not thousands of people. how do you begin to narrow
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things down? >> well, you look at the cabin to begin with. that's going to look at the manifest. and keep in mind, jake, the important thing to remember here is the united states has absolutely no control over how that is done. it's all left to the malaysian authorities. so i know that we have fbi agents on the ground preparing to help them but they are going to limit what they allow you to do but you have to look at everybody that got on to that plane. that's important. you can start peeling the onion by eliminating the people immediately, like children and very elderly people and insurance people. you might be able to eliminate those folks. but by the same token, you really have to look through the whole category of people that are on the plane. you have to look at the cargo. pieces of equipment that might be shipped that you have to look at how it was screened. maybe it wasn't screened as well in another country as it is in the united states. and then anybody that had access
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to that plane. was there a possibility that somebody who serviced the plane could have programmed in that turn that we are all talking about now? i don't know. but everybody has to be looked at. but the magic here is, it has to be done at the same time. it takes a real equipment to personnel, a commitment of person personalization. the assets that the u.s. has really come into play here. and that's a tricky part, too. because if orbital assets can be repositioned to find anything, then we really have to be involved in kind of a diplomatic sense as to how we bring that to fruition and let everybody know that we have or have not found. >> an incredibly complex case. bill gavin, thank you so much.
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when we come back, one woman refusing to give up hope that her partner is still alive. she'll talk to cnn next. so our business can be on at&t's network for $175 a month? yup. all 5 of you for $175. our clients need a lot of attention. there's unlimited talk and text. we're working deals all day. you get 10 gigabytes of data to share. what about expansion potential? add a line, anytime, for $15 a month. low dues, great terms. let's close!
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welcome back to "the lead." for the families of the 239 people on board, grasping on to hope that this plane is somewhere, this weight is torture. one american on board, phillip wood, was about to move from china to malaysia with his partner and she spoke with cnn's david mackenzie. >> the entire u.s. population is reliving things like 9/11 and this experience, right? if an unthinkable thing can happen, even after we've taken all of these precautions, what could happen next?
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if there's anybody who can survive a situation like that, it's him. he's very level-headed and i think he is the kind of person who would help to calm a really chaotic situation. of course i have to prepare for the worse because no matter what, i have to still go forward and no matter what his family still has to go forward so we need to know where the fork in the road is going to go. and we're not ready to take either branch but we have to know what's coming because otherwise when it comes you won't be prepared and that's when you get into trouble, i think. >> you need to be prepared for whatever the news is. >> uh-huh. my bag is back and ready to go. it has been since saturday morning. >> reporter: ready to go where? >> wherever he is. my son even helped me pick out
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what clothes to bring for him so i have an outfit for him in my backpack because he wouldn't want to wear his dirty old stuff anymore, i'm sure, and he wouldn't want to wear a hospital gown if that's the case. so, yeah, it's all ready. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i now turn you over to wolf blitzer. he's in "the situation room." wolf. a new timeline raising new questions about the disappearance of flight 370. as authorities examine the flight signals, they are digging into the background of the pilots, the crew members, and the passengers. if a skilled pilot were determined to make it invisible, could the airliner have evaded the protection of flying in the shade doe of another aircraft? and malaysia says this was